For the first time since the flood in 2011, the Wheat City Golf Course is being groomed for almost a full season of having 18 holes open to the public.
The course survived another flood threat this year, opened its back nine on Monday and manager Bryce Wilson is targetting the end of May for the front nine to be playable as well. A temporary poly dike was installed on the first, fourth, fifth and seventh holes this spring after the flood forecast came out, and the Assiniboine River came up to it, but the dike held.
Although the flood waters didn’t cover the course again, the ground water is high and has created some pools on the front nine, which are being pumped. Other than that, Wilson is just waiting for the fairways to dry up so that people can start playing all 18 holes again.
"It was huge (to avoid another flood)," he said. "With the numbers we were given from the flood forecast, we knew we were close, so that’s why we built up the temporary dike in spots. It’s a good relief. Now we just need the water to drop and get some help drying the bottom holes.
"It’s mainly (wet) too because of the rain on Monday and Tuesday. We probably had close to two inches at the course over the two days. Obviously that didn’t help in the drying process as well. The ground is a sponge right now with the water being so high on the wet side of the dike. We’re getting it off."
Wilson said the greens are fine and it’s mainly fairways that are affected by the high water levels.
In fact, he believes the greens are in their best shape in quite a few years, including before the flood waters hit in 2011.
Currently, golfers can play nine-hole rounds for $20 or go around twice for $27. The standard 18-hole rate is $33. Season membership passes are $700 until all 18 holes are open and increase to $775 after that.
While yesterday was the first time this season golfers had good weather to play the Wheat City, Wilson believes this year will be important for the course to rebound from the devastating effects of 2011.
"We have a number of tournaments back already," he said. "People are inquiring about more tournaments and leagues are back, so we’re happy with how it’s going and we’re looking to a good year."
<Bt-5>CHIP SHOTS: The 54th annual Grey Owl tournament at Clear Lake still has openings and has extended its registration deadline. The event will run from June 13-15. For more information, see thegreyowl.ca …The Oak Tree Classic, which raises money to conserve, restore and manage wetland conservation in Manitoba, will be held on Saturday at Oak Island. For more information, call <B>Bob Grant at 204-729-3505 … Pleasant Valley’s Southern Manitoba Golf Classic is also slated for Saturday. Contact the club for more information … Shilo will host the CN Future Links Junior Championship from May 29 to June 1 and is looking for volunteers. Anyone interested in being a forecaddie, scorecard runner, standard bearer or billet for a golfer can call <B>Karen Gero at 204-765-3622 … Minnedosa’s Rockin’ the Fields Par 3 tournament will be held May 31. Contact the club for more information … Carberry’s men’s spring open will run on June 1, followed by the women’s open on June 8. Contact the club at 204-834-2325 … Brandon’s chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada will host its charity tournament at Glen Lea on June 8. For more information, call <B>Cam Harrison at 204-724-0534 … The Killarney spring women’s open will take place on June 10. To register, call
204-523-8277 … The Brandon Ladies’ Western Open is returning to the Wheat City course on Aug. 10, with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. A junior flight for players 18 and under has been added. For more information, call <B>Janice Meadows at 204-728-0708.